Fishing Links

DEC Adopts New Freshwater Fishing Regulations

New or Modified Regulations Established for Various Fish Species and Methods of Take

(3/4/17) New freshwater fishing regulations go into effect April 1, 2017, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

“New York State is known for fantastic freshwater sport fishing opportunities,” said Commissioner Seggos. “These regulatory changes will help maintain these opportunities and enthusiasm for the sport.”

The modifications to the sport fishing regulations are a result of a two-year process that included biological assessment, discussions with anglers, and a formal 45-day public comment period. DEC used public input to finalize the changes. These regulations will be published in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide that will be available at all license sales vendors and on-line in March.

Highlights of the new regulations include:

  • Adjustments to existing walleye regulations in various waters throughout the state, including measures to protect spawning walleye and conservative minimum harvest size and creel limits in waters where managers are trying to establish self-sustaining populations of this popular sport fish. Regulations have also been liberalized for two waters where successful management has resulted in increased walleye abundance, Chautauqua Lake (Chautauqua County) and Franklin Falls Flow (Essex County);
  • Modifications to DEC Region 7 Finger Lakes rules to increase survival of rainbow trout, brown trout, and Atlantic salmon and to create a greater balance between these species and lake trout;
  • Allowing ice fishing in some waters and restricting the number or use of devices used for fishing through the ice (including, but not limited to hand line, tip-up, tip down, etc.) in other waters to protect self-sustaining populations or limit fishing pressure;
  • Simplification of the black bass regulations in Lake Erie by compressing the three existing seasons into two while expanding opportunities to use live bait and harvest one large bass per day during a special season;
  • Greater protection for northern pike in the St. Lawrence River due to the declining abundance of spawning adults and poor recruitment of young-of-year fish in the Thousand Islands region;
  • Relaxing of special regulations for trout and Atlantic salmon for various waters in DEC Region 5 (Adirondack Region) due to poor survival; and
  • Multiple updates to clarify existing regulations.

For a summary of the regulations changes, visit DEC’s website.



DEC: New Tools for Anglers

(8/3) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled two new tools that will help rookie and veteran freshwater anglers alike improve their skills. DEC has developed a new instructional manual entitled “The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing.” The new manual is part of a series of publications DEC has produced recently designed to get more people involved in the sport of fishing in New York State.

DEC also stocks more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state each spring. To offer a better angling experience, DEC recently collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide the trout stocking data on the Open NY (http://Data.NY.GOV) website.

The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing manual can be downloaded at: The guide is composed of nine modules:

  • The Fishes of New York
  • Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • Care of Your Catch
  • Safe and Responsible Angling
  • Intermediate Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • The Waters of New York
  • Fisheries Management
  • Aquatic Life
  • Ice Fishing

The beginners’ guide provides important information for those desiring to get started in the sport of fishing while also providing a resource for educators to teach students on fish and the sport of fishing. The manual will also prove helpful to those conducting free fishing events as part of the Governor’s expanded free fishing clinic program. Organizations or groups interested in conducting an event can find instructions and an application form on DEC website at

To give better access to fishing stocking information, DEC collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide searchable fish stocking data on the Open NY (Data.NY.GOV) website. Previously, the fish stocking information was only available in county listings on the DEC website.

There are two different data sets to choose from:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking ( contains the current year DEC spring stocking information for “catchable sized” brown, brook and rainbow trout. This data set will be renewed annually in mid-March.

Fish Stocking Lists from 2011 to 2015 ( contains the actual fish stockings by DEC and Essex, Onondaga and Warren counties for all fish species. This data set is particularly useful for people who want to fish in “put-grow-and-take” waters where fish are stocked at a small size and allowed to grow to a size anglers can keep. Now, an angler will be able to look back at the stockings over the past five years in their search for a fishing destination. This data set will be updated in May the year after stocking was completed.

There are also two different ways to view the stocking information. The links above will take you to a spread sheet-like dataset that allows you to filter the data on any of the columns (such as County, Waterbody, Species and size). But you can also search the data with a user interface that allows you to search multiple fields and then use graph features to add additional filters. The links for the user interfaces are:

Current Season Spring Trout Stocking –

Fish Stocking Lists (Actual): Beginning 2011 –

The new stocking data sets will help anglers to plan their fishing trips to take advantage of the plentiful fishing opportunities in New York State.